08/08/2020 at 2:15 pm #80463
I’m interested to see how other people’s sourcing has been affected by covid.
Right now, I have everything that I buy sit in “quarantine” for 5 days to let any germs die on them. The biggest headache for this is any time I buy stuff from an auction or thrift store I have to wait nearly a week to list them. We decided letting things quarantine was better than cleaning them with wipes or anything because of the sheer number of stuff (average a mini van load per auction) I don’t have a big dead pile to work on, minus about 15 boxes of smalls from the 85 year old’s estate that I bought a few weeks ago. We listed somewhere around 90 things this week and I just don’t have enough stuff to list another 100 next week without the quarantine process.
My mom has MS so it’s imparitive that none of us get sick. Myself, my girlfriend, and my mom all wear N95’s, don’t eat any prepared food without baking it in the oven first, and overall don’t go out unless it’s a necessity or for work.
I’m nostalgic for the good ol days of being able to pop in a thrift store and continue my day without going home and showering right after. To go to thrift stores now, I try to do several in one shot to make it worth it.
It’s weird to think how this is the norm for the next extended moment of time.
08/08/2020 at 3:40 pm #80466MyCottageParticipant
We are both in the “at risk” group (due to age, etc) and initially we refrained from sourcing, since we have plenty of stockpiled inventory to list. But the lure was too strong, and the last few weekends we’ve picked a day and went to yard sales…..nothing like we used to (up early, route mapped out, etc). We just go when we feel like it, run an errand or two, and stop at whatever yard sales cross our path. (We haven’t ventured back to the thrifts yet)
We’ve picked up some good stuff, but the downside is, we live in the heart of Pennsyltucky, and, I don’t really want to get into politics, but there’s no getting around it, this is TrumpLand…..so most yard sales we go to, we’re often the only people sporting masks and the only people trying to social distance. Our area isn’t the epicenter of the virus here, and yard sales held outside are fairly safe in my view, but when we go into a garage or house…..well, we’d both much prefer that the others wear masks, but neither of us is fool enough to suggest it LOL So, I guess it is what it is.
Best of luck to you, your GF and your Mom…these are trying times for sure.
08/08/2020 at 6:00 pm #80469IndySalesParticipant
Starting sourcing the moment it was possible. I had to travel out of my county to a neighboring one that had looser restrictions, as mine had delayed reopening by 2 weeks. My first day back was May 8th, I think. I’ve been sourcing 5 days a week for 1-2 hours a day at the Outlet (“bins”) since then. I’ll admit it’s a dangerous place to be if you’re sensitive health-wise, but I knew this going in and outright told at-risk family I’d see them in 2021. I’m in my 20s and know the risk is lesser for my age group, but I still try to be mindful and take precautions.
As for inventory, it goes into my office and sits there on the shelf with everything else. I clean only if things are dirty. According to my inventory system, items sit roughly 33 days before selling, so I assume by that time they’re good to go. I also assume that anyone getting this stuff is cleaning it, given that I have no control over what the delivery person might be carrying on them/what other packages mine might get mingled with.
As scavengers we’re in a really good position to come out of this ahead. We’re “scrappy”, and there’s never been a better time for it.
08/08/2020 at 7:10 pm #80471almastyParticipant
I’ve only been out sourcing once in the past 6 months. That’s it. I went from sourcing sometimes 3-5 days a week (I do this full time) to never. The one time I did go out I managed to get 25 boxes of stock. Most of it has been listed, I think there are only 7 boxes left to go through. I let it sit in quarantine for a week before listing any of it.
The last time I went to a thrift store was in mid-February. The last estate sale was mid-July. It is now almost mid-August. I almost went to an estate sale this weekend, but instead stayed in and worked on the backlog because I didn’t see enough of the items I’m interested in to risk going. I got up 20 listings from the backlog today and created drafts for another 10 items to get listed tomorrow.
I pretty much have plans to just list through the backlog until next spring, or through until summer 2021 if I have to.
08/09/2020 at 8:05 am #80478Kentucky PickerParticipant
- Location: Newport, Kentucky
I was on a sourcing roll with live auctions when the covid hit. I had enough backlog to get me through a couple of months. I honestly thought things would be back to normal by summer. We know how that went. As the live auctions shut down I shifted to Facebook Marketplace. I’ve checked the online auctions but for some reason I’m not finding good lots. Need to reassess my approach. Any rate, sourcing from FBM has worked. One of first time search yielded a lot of 220 remote controls for $40 (although I had to drive 3 hours to pick it up). Turned out to be great sellers. I have also been hitting yard sales, but they’ve been mostly disappointing. I really miss the community-wide yard sales. Considering the challenges, I feel like I’ve done well this year. Sales are on pace or slightly ahead of last year. As far as expanding my inventory, I’m treading water. Whatever comes in seems to go right out. Which isn’t bad, right?
08/10/2020 at 4:12 pm #80524ChristineKParticipant
We live in Coastal central FL, so no sourcing here. We don’t leave the house unless we absolutely have to. We even do curbside pickup for groceries. Our area is a covid hotbed and on top of that school is about to start back. Most people here don’t wear masks and most are sending their kids to school in person. Things here are no doubt about to go from very bad to even worse. We are homeschooling now too so even if I weren’t afraid for my life leaving the house I don’t have as much time as I used to.
That said, I still have stock to list. I had really stocked up at “the bins” last summer while my kids were at camp and then in the fall one of my friends got me to go to the bins weekly so I never touched the summer backstock. That’s been keeping me busy and I still have several tubs left in the garage. When that runs out I guess I’ll evaluate whether or not leaving the house to source is safe at that time. I’ve done some buying off of Mercari to resell but not much lately. Health and safety definitely come first. I’m even afraid to go to yard sales, but nobody here wears masks so I just don’t want to be around people even ouside right now.
08/10/2020 at 7:51 pm #80527Kentucky PickerParticipant
- Location: Newport, Kentucky
<p style=”text-align: left;”>J&R, thanks for another sterling podcast! Seeking insights from others in confronting issues is a real sign of maturity. The prevailing ethos in my early adult years was that guys were supposed to figure out everything on their own. Asking others for insights was a sign of weakness. Of course that’s a complete load of nonsense.
Total Items in Store: 663
Items Sold: 25 (24 eBay; 1 FBM)
Gross Sales (including shipping): $1,032
Highest Price: $300 – German Beer Garden Table and 4 chairs
Average Price: $46
Cost of Goods Sold: $285
Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $75
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 37
Gut reaction to the week: Just an incredible week for sales. Maybe my top week. It kicked off with the Facebook Marketplace sale of a German Beer Garden patio set of table and four chairs. It was beautiful, vintage, authentic and heavy as hell. I picked it up at an auction for $250 but over three years I couldn’t sell the thing for a fair price to save my soul. Anyway I posted it for $370 and took $300. So happy to get it out of my basement and to a good home!
After that it was off to the races. No one thing was over $50, just sheer quantity adding up. A note about my gross sales: it includes shipping because I mostly offer free shipping, so I’m not sure of an easy way to break out shipping. Guessing it’s 25-30% of gross.
Scavenge of the week: Last week not far my house a guy was using an old storefront for storage. Now he has to empty it since he’s sold the building. Sort of like the guys Jay describes in the podcast — years of throwing odds and ends in dusty rooms until the piles reach the ceiling. He had stuff on the sidewalk for sale. Turns out he’s a nice guy who has lived in the area his whole life, has owned several bars over the years and has lots of the stuff I like — posters, old pics, army gear, etc. I’m hoping he becomes a consistent source.</p>
08/10/2020 at 8:08 pm #80529
Thanks all for your thoughts!
I feel alot better knowing that I’m not the only one quarantining things. It feels over the top sometimes. Also interesting way to hear about how other people are sourcing in the time of the plauge.
Just to clarify, the idea behind quarantining is not that your customers don’t get sick, but that you don’t get sick from listing items. My office is not public and only has myself and imeadiate family in it, so we don’t feel the need to wear masks. However, we try to contain stuff that could be contaminated to outer walls of the office (It’s like 30 x 15 ft open space, with shelves running in a column down the middle). This kind of messes with my overall goal of having shelves on every wall, but so far since I’ve moved in I’ve only filled 4 new shelves out of 8 with 2 more on the way, but hopefully stuff keeps moving fast enough that I don’t run out of shelf space before all of this is over.
Keep on keeping on, glad to know everyone is safe
08/10/2020 at 8:10 pm #80530
Also @kentucky, I think your podcast post ended up here 😉
08/11/2020 at 7:37 am #80545ChristineKParticipant
08/17/2020 at 12:23 am #80735icequeenParticipant
W. Pennsyltucky here, so I can echo some of what MyCottage already posted. In the “at risk” group as well with asthma and clotting issues so I’ve pretty much been staying home except for groceries. I did quit a bit of curb shopping before this, still going out, but only once a week and sticking to the local area, because people seem to be cleaning and pitching like crazy here. I have been doing better picking trash lately than I’ve done in in the last 3 years visiting the local thrift stores.
Gloves, mask, everything in back of pickup and then unloading and letting things set in the shed for awhile in “quarantine”.
I’ve been hesitant to list anything on Marketplace/Craigslist right now since 90% of those I see will not mask up, and will not distance, so sticking to eBay right now…regardless of the deaths or the mask mandate, they just aren’t listening here.
08/25/2020 at 12:27 am #80988DaysiParticipant
- Location: Illinois
I have not been sourcing. There is 1 thrift store by me that I have been to a few times. Did not really buy anything. I am sticking to my “sell what you have-get rid of those death piles” momentum that I’ve been pretty good at since the beginning of the year (pre-pandemic). Of course during the first few months of the quarantine, my sales soared, but since I’m not really listing, it is showing in my sales. Really slow, random sales in my ebay store. Etsy is a bit better, but I really need to step up my game on ebay.
I know Ryanne and Jay were saying in this weeks podcast that summer sales are slow, but jeesh! My sales are reallllly slow!
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